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Posts Tagged ‘Home Improvements’

Edison’s Light Bulb is Phased Out.

Friday, September 18, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

Thomas Edison’s light bulb, invented in 1879, will not be sold in the U.S. after January 1, 2012. 

As part of the Clean Energy Bill, signed in 2007, most wattages of incandescent light bulbs, will go the way of leaded gas and oil based paint.   Australia started the light bulb ban in 2007.  Europe followed in September, this year. 

Even though Americans hate forced change, there are some reasons this change makes sense.  According to Energy Star, “a qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months.  It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.” 

Futhermore, Noah Horowitz, with the Natural Resources Defense Council stated “it would eliminate the need to build 30 new coal power plants and save as much electricity as used by all the homes in Texas.”

Astounding Energy Savings, No More Coal Plants and Free Money, too, what’s not to love??  Well, a couple of things…First of all, fluorescent bulbs contain mercury.  Remember the dangers of mercury?  If a bulb breaks, the mercury scatters around the room or hides in the carpet and toys.  And, don’t throw the new bulbs into the trash.  To dispose of these bulbs, if they don’t break first, they need to be handled like hazardous waste, ie: paint, chemicals, batteries, etc.  Home Depot, True Value, IKEA and other retailers will recycle them, but you need to carefully pack them up and drive them to the store.

Secondly, fluorescents can’t be used with a dimmer switch.  My personal favorite trick for creating ambiance.  And, I’ve already tried CFL’s and found they don’t produce enough light, or maybe the right hue of light, for easy reading and other close up tasks.  And, probably most concerning, they also aren’t a great light for those of us who look for bulbs that cast flattering, soft light ):

Change is coming.  Adjust or stock up before January 2012.   Thank you for visiting your FREE homes for sale and lease website.  Have a great weekend and happy home selling and buying.

Just Say No To Wallpaper

Monday, September 14, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

One of the things that can turn off buyer’s, stop a sale or detract from a properties resale value is Wallpaper.   Why don’t buyer’s like wallpaper??  First, it is usually a real pain to take down.  Secondly, it is very taste specific.  There is obviously no “standard” or “popular type” of wallpaper, because there seems to be endless supply and I have never seen the exact same wallpaper, twice.  Meaning, the odds of being hit by lightning are probably greater than 2 people liking the same paper.

If you plan to stay in your home a while and you want some wallpaper in your house, well, it is your house.  But, please, go sparingly. Avoid busy, colorful and loud types. And, please don’t forget to “size” the wall before you apply it, or you won’t get it off without destroying the wall surface underneath.

Tip for HomeSeller’s:   But, if you are trying to sell your home, without success, and it has a lot of wallpaper or busy, dated wallpaper, you can do yourself a big favor by pulling it down and applying a fresh coat of neutral paint.   A crisp, freshly painted room never turns off buyers. 

 The same can never be said about wallpaper.    Thank you for visiting FREE homes for sale and rent website.  We have been helping seller’s and buyer’s connect since 1988.  We can help you, too.

Reface or Tile Over an Ugly Fireplace

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

A fireplace can be a huge selling point for any home or an eyesore that detracts from the room.  If the fireplace in your home is out dated or just plain ugly, you can transform it into a sexy, focal point without spending a lot of money.

Take a look at this brick fireplace.  It is a fireplace, but it is doubtful that buyers would conjure images of sipping wine by a roaring fire, in its present condition.

Now, take a look at the transformation, after engineered stone was applied over the old brick and a mantle was added.  The fireplace morphs from an eyesore into a floor to ceiling, hearthwarming focal point

In another example, this unattractive, dated fireplace with painted brick got a great makeover.  The homeowner correctly felt the fireplace was out of proportion, due to the narrow sides and tall top.  The mantle was also too small.

The After.  The budget minded homeowner added an “in stock” simple mantel and pilasters from a do-it-yourself center.  The design updated the fireplace, hid most of the outdated, painted over brick and brought the fireplace into correct proportion for under $750.

If your fireplace detracts from your home, get your creative genius in gear and simply cover it up.  Examples of “coverup” materials that are inexpensive and easy to work with are tile, manufactured stone, granite, marble or wood.  Sometimes even painting over old, ugly brick will make a huge improvement. 

Thank you for visiting  We love before and after pictures that we can share with our readers.  If you have completed a project and want a pat on the back, email photo’s to